“How cold is the water in Ireland and how can you warm up?”
Coldtober is kicking off this Sunday and with the popularity of cold water therapy skyrocketing, we’ll be diving (pun intended!) into one of your most asked questions.
“How cold is the water in Ireland and how can you warm up?” So grab a cuppa and let’s explore.
The Irish Sea Vs. The Atlantic Ocean:
As you know, Ireland is an island. We‘re surround by the Irish Sea on the east coast and the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast. The Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, separated by 140km at their closest points, can feel like polar opposites when it comes to their temperatures. The Atlantic Ocean, the second largest ocean in the world, is generally colder, with average temperatures ranging from about 5°C in winter to 15°C in summer. The Atlantic Ocean covers a staggering 106 million sq km with an average depth of 3,646 meters! The Irish Sea, on the other hand, is slightly more forgiving, with temperatures between 8°C to 17°C with an average depth of 95 meters and covering approx. 45,000 sq km.
Preparation is Key!
So before you get in the water, you’re going to need to decide what you’ll wear. You can wear your swimsuit or your wetsuit. If you’re someone who feels the cold you’re going to want to wear your wetsuit, gloves and booties. And do you need to wear your buoyancy aid? Well, that depends on factors like your confidence in the water, your swimming ability, the conditions etc. You should only swim when and where it is safe to do so and always check the tides. You can check the tides at Surfline.com. Check if there are lifeguards on duty and always obey local bye-laws and signage near water.
And how to warm up:
When you’re talking about cold waters, it's vital to discuss hypothermia. When your body loses heat faster than it can produce, it can lead to a dangerously low body temperature, known as hypothermia. We mentioned wetsuits earlier and while there is a debate if wearing your wetsuit has less health benefits than wearing your swimsuit, there’s no doubt, doing something fun is good for you. And if you wear your wetsuit you’re going to want to wear atleast a 3/2mm wetsuit. 3/2 mm means the neoprene material is 3 mm thick in some places and 2 mm thick in others.
Coldtober™ is kicking off on Sunday and this year the challenge is simple; To do as many cold dips (in safe outdoor swimming spots) and/or cold showers (20 seconds) as you feel comfortable with doing; you set your own goal for this challenge across October! This is your last week to sign up!
The challenge is an annual fundraiser for Helplink Mental Health and we're delighted to sponsor the challenge again this year. Be sure to enter now because the first 500 participants to register for the challenge will receive a Coldtober™ neck warmer from Portwest- The Outdoor Shop and other goodies in your pack to help you with the challenge.
7 Tips to warm up:
1: Change Into Dry Clothes:
Immediately change out of your wet clothes and into a dry, warm set. Use your Portwest Adults Changing Towel to get changed in complete privacy. Wet clothing can significantly decrease your body temperature. Opt for warm layers, and don’t forget a hat and gloves, as much of our body heat is lost through our head and hands.
2: Seek Shelter:
Wind can make you feel colder, so find a sheltered spot or get into your car if possible. This will help your body start to warm up more effectively.
3: Warm Drinks:
Take a flask with you because there is nothing nicer than hot cup of tea when you get out of the water. Avoid alcohol as it dilates blood vessels and increases heat loss.
4: Move Around:
Light exercise such as jumping jacks or a brisk walk can generate heat through muscle activity. However, if you're showing signs of hypothermia, like slurred speech or intense shivering, it's essential to warm up gently to avoid straining your heart.
5: Blankets and Warm Packs:
Wrapping up in blankets or using warm packs can provide external warmth. Focus on warming the core of your body first – your chest, neck and head.
6: Eat Energy-Rich Foods:
Consuming foods high in energy can help in raising body temperature. Opt for hot meals if available, or snack on energy-rich foods like nuts and chocolate.
7: Use Windproof and Waterproof Gear:
Utilizing gear that shields you from the wind and rain, like those available at Portwest, will further prevent body heat loss and keep you warm in harsh conditions.
8: Safety First:
Always tell someone where you’re swimming if you’re going alone and make sure your mobile phone is charged. And remember the number for the coastguard is 112.
🌊🍁 Coldtober is not just about embracing the cold but also about challenging yourself. And don’t forget, this is all for a phenomenal cause—Helplink Mental Health, so every dip and every shiver has a purpose. It’s about community, fun, health, and kindness—all wrapped up in one chilly, exhilarating package! 🌟
So, what do you say? Ready to dive into Coldtober with us? Sign up here. It’s the last week to sign up, and we’ve got some sweet goodies for the first 500 participants. Let’s make a splash, stay safe, and embrace the chills together! 🍂🌊